When John Jameson arrived in Dublin he brought with him a uniquely refined skill set that had been taught and practiced in his family for generations. He was able to merely look at barley and determine not only its quality but also its potential to be used within the whiskey process. Armed with these inherent talents and a shrewd business sense he decided to take on the long and arduous process of creating the finest and most refined version of whiskey created thus far. In 1780 John Jameson established the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin. After picking his grains and building his facility, the hard part really began, filling hundreds of barrels of his future legendary concoction and demonstrating a level of patience that few men possess, he allowed his whiskey to rest and age for years. It’s a truly amazing process that combines only three ingredients; water, malted barley and un-malted or “green” barley.
Under Irish law, whiskey is legally allowed to be sold after three years of maturation and many companies developed chemicals that could turn the flavor profile of a 3 year old whiskey into a 10 year old whiskey. Staunch in his beliefs and proud of his ability he brushed off those who would attempt to help him corrupt his brew. Instead he waited and then began selling a 5 year whiskey which allowed him to finally start making a profit. The John Jameson storehouse located in Dublin, Ireland stands as an immortal monument to one of the pioneers of fine spirits and the father of the triple distillation or “pure pot still” process that even today has yet to be adopted by most whiskey companies.
Today there are a vast variety of blends made by the Jameson Company such as the recognizable Gold Label, all the way up to such rare lines as the Middleton or Redbreast. Even within these brands there are several creations that utilize special processes or periods of maturation. While getting a guided tour of the facility I was able to sample whiskey by other manufactures against the Jameson standard and I somewhat begrudgingly had to agree, that the Jameson process had created a clean and rich vanilla note that had completed the whiskey with such an incredibly round finish, that it became easy to see why this whiskey was superior. Needless to say, Jameson from this day forth has become one of my favorite brands and one company I can honestly say is exceedingly passionate in their attempt to deliver the best spirits available. If you ever happen to be in Dublin and you have a chance to visit the Jameson Storehouse make sure you swing by the gift shop for an exclusive chance to purchase their Distillery Reserve which is only soldin house. In addition you can attempt to purchase some of their exclusive furniture which is also created in house from the oak barrels that have been used in the maturation process a total of four times.
So do yourself a favor, go get a bottle of anything from their vast stable and do a taste test at home, I bet like me you will be surprised at how much it either rivals or beats their competition and your expectations.